Physics and Organic Chemistry - recommended classes

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    I am an ICU nurse with 2+ years in the unit. Last year I was looking at going back to school and needed to take Organic Chemistry and Physics. I scoured this site and everywhere else looking for info on a good place to get these courses considering how hard they are and that I needed an A. As of today (12/10/12) I am finished with both and I wanted to pass along my experience so somebody else can be spared the hours I spent trying to find the same info!

    Physics - BYU
    I took Applied Physics (PHYS 105) from BYU Independent Study online. The professor was Dr. Joner and it's a self-paced program. There are 4 proctored exams that you can schedule at a school/university that's near you. You are allowed to take an enormous cheat sheet into each exam, which is an outline prepared by the professor that you are allowed to write your notes on. A definite bonus.
    The moral of the story here is that Physics = HARD WORK. OMG, I did practice problems for hours, and then I did them again. Only at that point would I start to get the hang of what I was doing, so then I'd go back and do them yet another time. Physics isn't like the other stuff we learned in nursing where you just need to understand the physiology of something in order to work through it in your head. Physics should be thought of as a skill that needs practice, and it's a full-time job. I worked my tail off and got an A... barely.

    Organic Chemistry - OSU
    Took a course called General Chemistry of Living Systems (CH 130) which covers 1 chapter of general chem (acids/bases), then 5 chapters of organic, then 5 chapters of biochem. The name is misleading and you may want to get the syllabus/content cleared with the graduate school you plan to attend just to be sure there are no misunderstandings. I took this at Oregon State University online and the professor was Gautschi, but another guy named Nafshun teaches using pretty much the same syllabus.
    This class was good. The weighting of homework and labs, plus an essay, tips the odds in your favor to do well in the course. The midterm is not proctored, but the final exam is. The key to this class is making a good set of note cards with reference molecules and functional groups on them so you can refer to them indefinitely. The homework is done online using a program called Mastering Chemistry. Most people report this to be some really evil software, but I thought it was pretty good. It shows the student, in a very obvious way, what the important concepts are and how to do them (usually through repetition). I got an A in the class and I'd say the Mastering Chemistry homework was really the key to help me focus on the right stuff. The prof puts out practice exams which are really helpful, especially on the final. The labs are a pain and completely not related to the course. I got semi-lame scores on them but still came through with the A-grade at the end.

    Good luck to all of you looking to get these out of the way. I had tried OChem at UNE and it was awful - it was unreal how difficult it was and I had no idea what I was learning. I had an A but I dropped because it felt like I was staring at Everest. The Ochem at OSU was actually useful and tied to health-related topics so it was much easier to grasp.
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  4. 5 Comments so far...

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    Thanks for the course reviews! I've been looking around for good online science classes to take. Were they expensive?
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    What program are you trying to get into, CRNA?
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    BYU Physics was around $450
    OSU Ochem was right around $1,000.

    Gross, I know. It's hard to believe these are the going rates for education these days.

    The UNE Ochem course (the one I dropped) was around $1,400 I think.
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    Does anyone know of any good graduate level chem classes? Also, was that the LDS or non-LDS rate at BYU?
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    I was considering CRNA, yes, but not exclusively. I haven't decided how to proceed just yet - will let things settle into the new year and make a choice to move ahead or stay put for a while longer.

    The rate for online independent study at BYU was the same for everyone I thought - so non-LDS.


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